The potato gets a good workout in Indian cuisine. Our kitchens will always have a steady supply of them. It's part of the grocery list: milk, bread, and a kilo of potatoes. There are tons of dishes we make out of the humble spud and it's one of those dependable vegetables we stock up on for the sudden dinner guest.
In Indian non-vegetarian cuisine, the potato is used to absorb the flavors of the meat and spices in curry dishes or to encase delicious morsels of lamb mince or in this case, boiled eggs.
Very often, it's the potatoes that are most sought after in a biryani and the textural contrast of crisp, deep-fried potato straws over a bed of meltingly tender mutton gravy is one of life's precious experiences. After a helping of this, it's easy to understand why the potato is the only vegetable that resolute Indian non-vegetarians will care to welcome onto their table.
It is this affable, hard-working nature of the potato with meats, which makes it the only vegetable that resolute Indian non-vegetarians will welcome on their tables. One of my favorite potato side dishes is the egg, chutney (a coriander and chili relish) and potato pattice (dumpling). It's very easy to make and can be eaten as a starter or an accompaniment to any meal. And it's even easier to have one too many!
- 4 medium potatoes, boiled, mashed, and cooled
- A small bunch of coriander leaves
- 1 ½ tablespoons of grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 green chillies or to taste
- 6 medium cloves of garlic
- Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 3 hard boiled eggs, cut lengthwise into quarters
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg, beaten
Use a tablepoon measure to make 12 balls of mashed potato. Knead each ball in your hands until smooth and form into a hollow cup.
Grind together coriander, grated coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies, garlic, salt, and sugar in a food processer or mortar and pestle to make a paste. Spread a teaspoon of the paste evenly into each hollow in the potatoes. (You should have some chutney left over.) Put an egg quarter in the chutney filled hollow. Close tightly with more mashed potato until everything is sealed carefully inside.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Dip each pattice in the beaten egg and gently place in oil. Fry, turning frequently, until golden on each side. Remove, drain on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel-lined plate, and serve hot with remaining chutney.